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"Unpacking Spurgeon's Perspective: Calvinism, Hypercalvinism, and the Gospel" (Part 1)

It is the Duty of Men To Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ for the Salvation of Their Souls.

Charles Haddon Spurgeon (19 June 1834 – 31 January 1892)

This blog section will be reserved for quotes and minimal discussion from the book, "Spurgeon V. Hypercavinism - The Battle For Gospel Preaching."

Murray, Iain H. 2010. Spurgeon v. Hyper-Calvinism. Banner of Truth.

Soon after he had joined the Baptists, Spurgeon had come across Hyper-Calvinism and evidence that its influence was inimical to evangelism. One hearer at least in his Waterbeach pastorate had called him 'a Fullerite.' (1)

Spurgeon was conscious of this critical element when he preached one of his early sermons in his first pastorate on, 'All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out' (John 6:37). He introduced his text with the words, 'Surely this passage will suit all, from the "Hyper" down to the Primitive [Methodist].' At the end of his notes on this same sermon he wrote this private comment:

'Read, write, print, shout, - "Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out." Great Saviour, I thank Thee for this text; help Thou me so to preach from it that many may come to Thee, and find eternal life! (2)

(6 February 1754 – 7 May 1815)
Andrew Fuller (6 February 1754 – 7 May 1815)

From his own early reading of the Puritans, Spurgeon was convinced that they were no supporters of the beliefs which Hyper-Calvinists claimed - 'I have all the Puritans with me - the whole of them without a single exception.' (3)

He believed that Fuller had been correct in his assertion made in 1787 that 'no writer of eminence can be named before the present century, who denied it to be the duty of men, in general, to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ for the salvation of their souls.' (4) So-called 'Fullerism' represented an emphasis not only to be found in the Reformers and Puritans, but supremely in scripture itself.

1 . Autobiography, vol. 1, p. 256. Andrew Fuller (1754–1815) was an English Baptist minister and theologian. He was a significant figure in the Baptist community and made notable contributions to theology during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Fuller was known for his theological writings, particularly his emphasis on the doctrines of grace and his defense of Calvinism within the Baptist tradition. He played a key role in the Baptist Missionary Society and was involved in missionary work both locally in England and internationally. His works, such as "The Gospel Worthy of All Acceptation," have had a lasting impact on evangelical theology.

2. Autobiography, vol. 1, p. 225-6.

3. MTP, vol. 7, p. 148.

4. From Fuller's Defence of a Treatise Entitled the Gospel Worthy of All Acceptation, quoted by J. W. Morris, Memoirs of Andrew Fuller (London, 1816), p. 263. Spurgeon refers to Fuller as 'that man of God' (MTP, vol. 13, p. 719) whereas William Gadsby called him 'the greatest enemy the church of God ever had, as his sentiments were so much cloaked with the sheep's clothing' (W. Gadsby, Works, vol. 1 London, 1851], p. 27. Quoted by R. W. Oliver in "The Significance of Strict Baptist Attitudes towards Duty Faith in the Nineteenth Century', Strict Baptist Historical Society Bulletin, No. 20, 1993).

For proof that the claim of Spurgeon and Fuller was correct, one has only to turn to the Articles of the Synod of Dort in 1619, (5) which include the words: 'As many as are called by the gospel are unfeignedly called; for God hath most earnestly and truly declared in his Word what will be acceptable to him, namely, that all who are called should comply with the invitation. He, moreover, seriously promises eternal life and rest to as many as shall come to him and believe on him. It is not the fault of the gospel, nor of Christ offered therein, nor of God, who calls men by the gospel, and confers upon them various gifts, that those who are called by the ministry of the Word refuse to come and be converted. The fault lies in themselves.' (Philip Schaff, A History of the Creeds of Christendom, [London, 1878], vol. 1, p. 522).

5. The Synod of Dort, also known as the Synod of Dordrecht, was a major international synod held in the Dutch city of Dordrecht (Dort) from 1618 to 1619. It was convened by the Dutch Reformed Church in response to theological controversies arising from the teachings of Jacobus Arminius, a Dutch theologian, and his followers, known as the Arminians.

The primary purpose of the Synod of Dort was to address the theological differences between the Arminians and the Calvinists (also known as the Reformed), who upheld the doctrines of predestination and election as articulated by John Calvin. The main points of contention included the nature of God's sovereignty in salvation, the extent of human free will, and the concept of unconditional election.

The Synod of Dort produced the Canons of Dort, which are a series of doctrinal statements that articulate the Calvinist position on these theological issues. The Canons of Dort affirmed the doctrines of unconditional election, limited atonement, total depravity, irresistible grace, and perseverance of the saints, commonly summarized by the acronym TULIP.

The Synod of Dort had a significant impact on the development of Reformed theology and played a crucial role in shaping the theological identity of the Dutch Reformed Church and other Reformed denominations. Its decisions were influential not only in the Netherlands but also in other parts of Europe and beyond.

Murray, Iain H. 2010. Spurgeon v. Hyper-Calvinism, pp. 50-51, Banner of Truth.

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